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“Habitat came to us in a time where we thought hope was lost, but now we have our strength back to build a place we can call home.”

Joshua, an Asset Protection Host for Walmart, and his wife, Cheroqui, are on their journey to homeownership to provide a safe home for their two children, Brandon and Ilyana.

“We are a small family of four who loves to have family movie nights, and long drives together to see new sights. One of our favorite locations to visit is the fountains in downtown Tampa, and we love taking nice walks on the Riverwalk.” Their eight-year-old son, Brandon, loves to play soccer and is very interested in math and science. His two-year-old younger sister, Ilyana, loves food and playing with her family members.

The family has been living in public housing for the past six years, which they have described as “an ongoing struggle.” They have experienced constant pest issues, plumbing issues and floods. They also have had some dangerous issues with the electrical unit, which has been ignored by the maintenance for some time now. “We lost hundreds of dollars worth of food due to power outages but were told it was never an emergency. With all of this in an overcrowded apartment, we just cannot function well. We have out grown this place, but buying a home the traditional way was not an option.”

“Our first thought when we were accepted into the Habitat program was pure joy and excitement- we even cried. We have always wanted to be homeowners but struggled to find the education to do so. When we learned about Habitat, we became determined and did whatever it took to be homeowners.” The couple has really enjoyed all of the educational aspects of the program, and are thankful for the help they received throughout.

“With our Habitat home our kids will be able to have their own space to grow, and they will finally have the privacy that they deserve as they get older. We will never have the fear of being evicted or rising rent costs, and we will be able to fix items in our home ourselves.”

The family is so excited to have extra space, a washer/dryer, a backyard to grill, and an area for the kids to play. Cheroqui plans to have a garden, and can’t wait to family and friends over with no issues. “I see us being less stressed and worried about the ‘what ifs’. Now we can focus on bigger and better things.”

“Our house will be our sanctuary of peace. It will be a place of many new memories and new holidays, dinners, and laughs.”

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